Argostoli Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Greece
Region
Ionian Islands
District
Kefalonia
Settlement
Argostoli
Site address
The cemetery was located around the intersection of Charokopou Street and Ellinikou Erithrou Stavrou street.
GPS coordinates
38.18412, 20.48480
Perimeter length
380 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The town’s Archaeological Museum was built on the site of the former cemetery. The museum was was destroyed during the earthquake of 1953, which is marked with a memorial plaque to the destroyed museum. Now, the territory is used as a wasteland and a public park around the memorial, perhaps also as a part of the road. There is also an abandoned municipal building on the site of the former cemetery.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The first Jews to settle on the island of Cephalonia lived in Achelous in the 12-13th centuries. Jews were brought to Cephalonia in the 17th century by its governor, who was interested in developing the bookbinding industry. Most lived in the capital, Argostoli. After 1821, when the Greek revolution broke out, many Jews escaping anti-Jewish sentiment settled in Cephalonia. The Jewish population in Cephalonia in 1823 was 130 (of a total of 53,090). Cephalonia was annexed to Greece in 1864. In the 1890s, the community’s financial position was undermined and its members became indifferent to the problems related to Jewish community life. The community was soon dismantled. The Jewish population in 1907 was 18. Only one Jew remained in 1940.

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown, but it can be assumed it was founded in the 17th century.

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